Made on a Boat, a Photographer’s Dreamy Views of the Sea

Paul Rousteau, “Lincoln Sea,” from Seascapes

In the spring of 2019, the French Embassy in Australia invited the French photographer Paul Rousteau to spend 12 days living and making artwork on a sailing boat in the Coral Sea. This atypical artist residency turned Rousteau into an active crew member of the boat, working to keep it on course, and sometimes maneuvering it through the night. In a recent email to Hyperallergic, Rousteau reflected that “Living at sea, surrounded by the elements, without internet, without material comfort, night and day, was a strong and unforgettable experience.”

At first, Rousteau took daily photographs of the sea with his camera. But he quickly found that the process fell short in capturing the vividness of the light, water, and air that surrounded him. “The camera breaks up and locks up reality,” Rousteau said. “So I started to modify my camera.

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